Although India obtained its independence on August 15, 1947, the Constitution of India came into effect only on January 26, 1950. During the transition period from 1947 to 1950, King George VI was the head of country. C. Rajagopalachari served as the Governor-General of India during this period. Following January 26, 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the president of India.
To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's Palace), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort. The different regiments of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force march past in all their finery and official decorations. The President of India who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute. Parades demonstrating the cultures of the various states and regions of India are also held and broadcast nationwide on television. The parade also includes vibrant displays and floats and traditionally ends with a flypast by Indian Air Force jets.
Celebrations are also held in state capitals, where the governor of the state unfurls the national flag. If the Governor of the state is unwell, or is unavailable for some reason, the Chief Minister of the state assumes the honor of unfurling the National Flag of India.
Republic Day Parade
Indian Air Force Jaguars over Rajpath
An eagerly awaited part of the parade is the fly past, put on by the Indian Air Force. The parade concludes with a Fly Past, when fighter planes of the IAF roar past the dais, symbolically saluting the President.
However, the official conclusion of Republic Day festivities is much later - on the evening of January 29, i.e. three days after Republic Day. This ceremony is called Beating the Retreat.
The processions starts by moving down from the Rashtrapati Bhavan through Rajpath, past the India Gate and on to Con naught Place, the...